Among emerging designers in Australia, Stephanie Frig is perhaps among the most fascinating of the last year and a half. A recent graduate of the fashion design program at the University of Technology in Sydney, her graduate collection, was in Frig’s own words, “excessive, adorned and synthetic”. Inspired by fabulous older women (think of figures like Lyn Dell, Linda Rodin and Iris Apfel) like those of Advanced Style, her ambition was to create a collection comprised exclusively from handmade textiles. The rather risky and time-consuming gamble has paid off, big time, with the unusual shapes and silhouettes informed by traditional techniques. Presented at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in 2016 her collection gave me goosebumps- it’s precisely why I love fashion and am so intrigued by it. The colour, the texture, all of it swamped the female form and obscured it with tiny laser cut panels giving the clothes another dimension.
With a tailor for a grandfather, and fond memories of her mother sewing throughout childhood it comes as no surprise Stephanie now finds herself in the fashion industry. Citing the aesthetic of the 60s and 80s, in particular iconic films which ruled those decades including, interior design and of course fashion there’s a certain interplay of colour and silhouettes without a waist that dominate Frig’s work. Fall 2016 was inspired by the excessive nature of films by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and the fading glamor represented by women dressing in their Sunday Best. Texture, colour saturation and decadence, these are all ideals movies uphold and as a general rule of thumb, the older the better. With Frig describing the process of her drawings as those which ‘tend to be large blobs of dried up acrylic paint with a smudge of oil pastel’, if her clothes were anything else, they’d be a children’s playground. More specifically the kind you’d find at McDonald’s. Just as you think you know what’s around the corner, there’s something else to explore, wrap your head around and ultimately enjoy.